Archive for the ‘ Opinion ’ Category

Another Day, Another …

Another Day, Another …

By: Jake Jakubuwski

Copyright, 2013. All rights reserved

 

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

 When I first moved to Florida in the early 60’s, one of the jobs that I had was as a tour guide at the Edison Home and Botanical Gardens in Fort Myers. This was Edison’s “winter” vacation home and next door to the Edison Home, Henry Ford had an estate. 

Harvey Firestone, George Westinghouse and John Burroughs, who was a famous naturalist and essayist, also had homes in and around Ft.Myers.

 During the first part of the twentieth century,Ft.Myers was a favored winter vacation spot for many of the industrialists and corporate leaders inAmerica. But, as far as I know, Thomas A. Edison was the only one of the group that actually brought his “work” with him when he came to Fort Myers. In fact, he literally brought his home with him as a prefabricated home that was shipped in by steamer and assembled on the shores of the Caloosahatchee River; just to the west of the original “downtown” Ft.Myers. Along with assembling his home, he built his laboratory and planted his gardens.

 His laboratory was where he conducted his experiments when he was in town; and the gardens were used to grow many of the plants, flowers and trees that he used in his various experiments.

 One of the “highlights” of the Edison tour was a visit and limited exploration of his laboratory where you could see many of the bottles, test tubes and other paraphernalia and machinery that Edison (and his “workers”) used to “discover” and perfect many of his ‘inventions”.

 Interestingly, Edison never saw himself as a scientist but more as a discoverer and manufacturer. His approach to inventing something (Like the tungsten filament for the electric light bulb) was to keep trying different things until he found one that worked.

 He tested over a thousand different materials — from bamboo to goldenrod — as a filament for the light bulb before he discovered that tungsten was the material he was looking for. His “track record” of things that didn’t work was, by far, larger then the things he discovered that did work.

 With just the light bulb alone what would have happened if he gave up his search at the 999th failure?

 Anyway, when one of my “customers” emailed me the above quote as a sig line to their email, I thought back to those days when I would guide “snowbirds” through the home and gardens and give them the “spiel” about Edison and his life in Fort Myers.

 Among the many things thatEdison invented was a form for a concrete house that, according to the patter we learned, was complete down to fireplace mantels and decorative filigree around the doors.Edison developed that idea for his buddy, Ford — who was trying to find a quick and easy way to build housing for his employees as a means of stonewalling the unions that were trying to organize his factories.

Edison’s phonograph became one of the most sought after “luxuries” in homes from the very wealthy to the hard scrabble coal miner inWest Virginia.

His stock ticker changed the face of stock market trading. He patented a better way to preserve fruit, an automatic chemical telegraph which might be considered a forerunner of the fax machine.

He held patents (1,093 of them) for movie projectors, electric motor brakes, vacuum pumps, the electro-magnetic railway (Remember streetcars?), electric meters and more.

 The point?

 Edison left school while in the third grade and began selling newspapers on the railway cars of  his day. He grew to be a man who simply did not believe that something could not be done and was willing to fail at his attempts to make something work until he found the solution he was looking for.

 In my opinion, that’s grit, creativity, determination and believing there was no such concept as “It can’t be done.”

 An interesting observation is this: Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone and John Burroughs each had the same number of hours in their day as we have in ours.

 What are we doing with our allotment of time?

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There May Still Be Hope for Medicare and Our Medical Industry

By Jake Jakubuwski

Copyright 2012

       This article is the result of a few posts that I made on Face Book regarding some comments made by some folks whose opinions obivously differed from mine. This is the way I feel I don’t feel entitled to anything except the right to pay my share of the Medicare that I have qualified for by virtue of the fact that I lived to 65 and beyond!

        There is no doubt, or there shouldn’t be, in anyone’s mind that Medicare and this country’s health care system is in trouble and needs help.

       Typically, from the way I see it, the current idea of a quick fix is to raise insurance (government and private) contributions, cut services to new and lower levels and pay providers less money while charging recipients more.

          Before we scuttle our current Medicare/Medicaid/Private Insurance programs, we should try to eliminate fraud, waste and bureaucratic bumbling, fumbling and overall ineptitude that seems to be rife within the system.           Trying to stem improper payments due to fraudulent claims and unscrupulous medical practitioners of all sorts is, to my mind, a solid way to help stop some of the “bleeding” that is taking place within the Medicare system.
           Curtailing services and raising deductibles only, to my mind, penalize those least able to afford those extra costs. Carving “savings” out of Medicare benefits discourages health care providers from participating in the program and although a large number of people look on Medicare as an entitlement — I have to look on it as an “Insurance” program that I pay a premium (Which increases with regularity) for. I have Parts “A” and “B” and pay a private insurance premium to “cover” certain charges (like deductibles and co-pays) that Medicare does not. That premium has also increased regularly — every year. I also pay for “Prescription Insurance” that helps cover the costs of the pharmaceuticals that I require.
          So, I’m really not interested in hearing that my Medicare is an entitlement when I pay for the privilege of participating in a government conceived, government controlled and government sponsored INSURANCE PROGRAM!
         In my opinion anyone who is proven guilty of defrauding the Medicare system should be forced to pay restitution — even if it means losing ALL of their assets. And furthermore, if such a penalty results in their penury, they should NOT be able to seek protection in bankruptcy.
          Eliminating fraud and cutting waste within the boundaries of our current Medicare/Medicaid system is an absolute necessity if the programs are to remain viable…

        Prosecuting the perpetrators of that fraud and forcing them to make restitution is a good start to saving money that is needlessly spent on medical care in the United States.

        Persecuting the poor who can’t pay and penalizing those Medicare recipients who ARE paying their fair share — including all those working-class and middle-class Americans who participate in some sort of personal or employer sponsored insurance program — is counterproductive to resolving the problems that fraud, waste and insane charges for medical care that we are forced to deal with today.

         Maybe socialized medicine is the answer. I don’t know.
          What I do know, or at least what I understand if I’m reading the statistics properly is that in 1906 the average life expectancy in theUS was about 47 years. Today, slightly over 100 years later —it is just over 71 years.

         The way I see it, modern medicine (even with all the scumbag scammers involved and other shortcomings) can’t be doing too bad a job.

         So to all those politicians — and others that favor penalizing folks that ARE paying their share — and those too poor to pay:  I say, “Go get the crooks and MAKE them pay!”

         That includes the management and directors of “Non-Profit” medical facilities who get obscene salaries and bonuses for accumulating hundreds of millions of non-profit dollars in “reserve cash”.